“How's business for you these days?” Athena asked, loading a box with his order.
“I can't complain, although I must commend you on getting Dawn's protections up so fast. How did you find out I was targeting her?” Justin asked.
“It wasn't hard when you let slip who you were working for last week,” Athena said. “If you're going to brag don't do it around someone who knows me.”
“The problem with that, Athena dear, is I don't know of anyone who doesn't at least have a passing acquaintance with you and your shop,” Justin said. “At least that moves in the same Circles as we do.”
“That's true enough,” Athena said. “Trying to get one up on you when we're probably two of the most powerful in the Circle here is always a challenge.” She turned and handed him his box.
Justin smiled. “By the way, Athena. I was just in that coffee shop down the road. The barista in there was having a very bad day. It seems she spilled chocolate syrup all over her expensive shoes and managed to spoil seven drinks in a row,” he said.
Athena raised an eyebrow. “That sounds like a rotten run of luck. I wonder if she managed to upset someone.”
“Yes, I wonder,” Justin said. He winked at her and she grinned. Leave it to Justin to poke his nose into her business, as usual. “Well, this takes care of my needs for a while. I'll see you next week.”
“Are you coming to the meeting Friday?” Athena asked.
Justin made a face. “Of course. But there we can't be nearly as polite to each other as we can here, so I'd rather not have to think about that right now,” he said.
She sighed. “Well if you didn't persist in opposing everything I do we wouldn't have that problem, now would we?”
“Ah, but I enjoy opposing those like you who come to this city, Athena,” Justin said. “I've been doing it for a very long time, after all.”
“As have I, Justin,” Athena said.
“I know. Which is why you're a challenge,” he said. He'd have said more, but the door chimed and a handful of customers wandered in. “Have a lovely day, Athena.”